Recent graduates are weighed down by the burden of debt and unemployment. Kingston University graduate Ed McKeever is also weighed down – but with 400g of gold after having clinched first place in the 200m sprint kayak on Saturday.
The 28-year-old beat Spain’s Saul Craviotto Rivero and Mark de Jonge of Canada to row to Olympic gold – but will he row to victory in Rio 2016? In an interview, Ed said: "I haven't made any long-term plans. I'm 28, so it could go either way. I'm just so happy I could contribute to the medal table.” Long-term plans: a potentially terrifying concept for those fresh out of university, especially for the many graduates who still have no idea what they want to do.
As a graduate, where could you be in four years time? Although the majority have a long way to go before ‘doing an Ed’ and finding themselves in a position to add to Team GB’s impressive Olympic medal collection, it doesn’t hurt to make plans.
Organising every last detail of your life isn’t hugely advisable: you could suffer a blow to your self-esteem if you underperform according to your life plan, it could limit your opportunities and life is so unpredictable that it would simply be impossible to stick to an overly thorough schedule. The key is to have a rough idea of where you’re headed but leave enough room for spontaneity and unexpected changes.
If you’ve been lucky enough to land yourself a job (hooray!), you’ll find it’s very easy to get settled into the everyday routine at work. Making a loose long-term plan and taping it to your fridge/door/dog could actually induce that all-important spontaneity. If you visualise a particular position in the business to aspire to you will more likely be encouraged to take on new tasks and responsibilities, which will in turn make you feel more valued in the company as well as enthusiastic about your work, which could snag you a promotion – tidy.
As Richard Hall, author of The Secrets of Success at Work says: “To be told that you look as though you know where you are going is high praise”. You may not be an Olympic champion in four years but you could find yourself looking down from the dizzying heights of the top rung of the career ladder.
Are you looking for graduate jobs? How are you planning to work your way up the career ladder?